by Steven Ertelt
October 12, 2006
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — A former Virginia governor who many political observers touted as a possible candidate for president in 2008 has said he has no plans to run for the office. Democrat Mark Warner, who backs abortion, indicated he won’t run for the presidency and cited his desire to spend more time with his family.
"This is the right time for me in my life to have a life for a little while," Warner told reporters on Thursday about his decision not to run.
Warner seemed to be slightly frustrated with his own decision and pointed out that the current political climate is about as favorable to Democratic candidates as possible.
"Things will probably never be as aligned as they are right now," Warner added, according to an AP report. "And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn’t move forward unless I’m willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner."
Despite his announcement, Warner did not rule out possibly running for governor again or for the Senate from Virginia. Sen. John Warner, a mixed-record lawmakers who is of no relation, is due up for re-election in 2008.
Warner could also be a possible vice-presidential pick for a Democrat looking to try to capture the state or make inroads into the South, which Republican candidates have dominated since the days of Ronald Reagan due to their pro-life views.
With Warner’s departure, the likely field of potential Democratic presidential candidates includes Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is considered the front-runner.
Other notable possibilities include former nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Kerry’s running mate. Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Joe Biden of Delaware, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are also top candidates.
Each of the potential Democrats backs abortion and there is no viable pro-life Democrat who has been mentioned as a possibility.
Top mentioned Republican candidates for president in 208 include pro-abortion ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, who votes mostly pro-life, pro-life House leader Newt Gingrich, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who votes mostly pro-life.
Other potential candidates include Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a recent pro-life convert, pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and pro-life Sen. George Allen of Virginia.
In the 2004 presidential election, Kerry lost to President Bush in 2004 in part because of his pro-abortion views.
A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 42 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.
Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.